The theme of Older American’s Month, “Never too Old to Play,” echoes numerous studies that show that today’s older adults are more active, and health conscious than ever before. The Natural Marketing Institute (NMI) found that baby boomers are raising the bar on their standards for health and living. Seventy-five percent of baby boomers surveyed said that there are “very concerned about their health and are actively managing it.”
One way that older adults are living healthier and more fulfilling lives is by focusing on what is really important to them, and downsizing their non-essential material possessions. NMI found that 57 percent of baby boomers feel that they live more satisfying lives with less material possessions.
Now is the perfect time to do some spring cleaning and organizing to rid your home of clutter. Try these spring cleaning tips from the AARP (www.aarp.org):
• Team up with your neighbors to have a yard sale. Share the cost of advertising and the work, and get rid of all of the things that you don’t use. You’ll make some extra spending money too!
• Donate unwanted items that are still in good condition to charities. You will help others, while making your home more organized.
• Vacuum the coils on your refrigerator (be sure to unplug it first). This makes your refrigerator more energy efficient, and will save you money on your electric bill.
• Clean or replace your air conditioning filter. A dirty filter uses 5 to 15 percent more electricity.
• Clean your vacuum! It sounds silly, but it can add years of life to an essential piece of cleaning equipment.
Cleaning and organizing makes your home safer. According to the Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov), falls are the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma among adults age 65 and older. They are also the leading cause of injury death. WebMD (www.webmd.com) recommends that you remove or fix anything in your home that you could trip on. Your floor and stairs should be free of clutter, and broken steps, doorframes or loose carpet should be repaired. Avoid storing items on high shelves that you cannot easily reach. Take spring cleaning outdoors as well, clearing patios and walkways of moss and leaves, which can also cause falls. In addition to safety, cleaning up dirt and dust can help prevent illness and allergies.
NMI reports that four out of five baby boomers will do “whatever it takes” to continue living in their current home. Spring cleaning will make your home safer, healthier and more livable, helping you to continue to live independently with ease.
A San Francisco State University study had findings similar to NMI; that experiences make people happier than possessions. So when you are finished with your spring cleaning, get out and enjoy the beautiful weather, and make some memories with friends and family. Remember, you’re “never too old to play.”
To learn more about how Liberty at Home can help you with your spring cleaning, contact Dana O’Donnell at 215-643-6335 ext. 147.